Reinventing the Plinth


12 January 2017

The plinth tends to play second fiddle. A classically parergonal element, it plays a mediating role between architectural setting and object, bestowing a particular status on the thing it supports. (Even if that thing is no thing, as in Tom Friedmann's 1992 Untitled (A Curse), a plinth supporting "an 11in sphere cursed by a witch").

In an exhibition currently on show at Etage Projects in Copenhagen, the plinth takes centre stage as protagonist rather than supporting character. The Plinth Project features plinths by 12 design practices: Anton Alvarez, Kueng Caputo, FOS, Hilda Hellström, Maria Lenskjold, Jenny Nordberg, Matt Olson/OOIEE, Pettersen & Hein, Fredrik Poulsen, James Shaw, Soft Baroque, and Studio Vit.

Each object goes some way to demystify, reinterpret, or subvert the typology of the plinth or pedestal, whether through increased flexibility (Matt Olson/OOIEE's plinth proposes a series of highly pragmatic display options), gentle gyration (Soft Baroque's motorised plinth "dances") or by obstruction (Pettersen & Hein's plinth hardly allows for an object to be placed upon it).

Below, Disegno publishes a gallery of highlights from The Plinth Project.

Soft Baroque, Primitive Progressive Plinth, 2016. Aluminium and air-hardening clay. IMAGE Paul Skovbakke (courtesy of Etage Projects)
Maria Lenskjold, Untitled, 2016. Earthenware and stoneware. IMAGE Paul Skovbakke (courtesy of Etage Projects)
Anton Alvarez, TTWMP 071116, 2016. Polyester thread, PVA glue, plywood, plastic, OSB, pine wood, steel, ash wood, felt pads, paint. IMAGE Paul Skovbakke (courtesy of Etage Projects)
Jenny Nordberg, Tin Plinth, 2016. Tin. IMAGE Paul Skovbakke (courtesy of Etage Projects)
Matt Olson/OOIEE, It Came Through Me Through You (No Separation), 2016. Aluminium and MDF. IMAGE Paul Skovbakke (courtesy of Etage Projects)
Pettersen & Hein, Utilisation and Density, 2016. Concrete, pigment, black steel, PVC, dirt and earth. IMAGE Paul Skovbakke (courtesy of Etage Projects)
Hilda Hellström, The Big Bang and Other Explanations, 2016. Polymer modified plaster and pigment. IMAGE Paul Skovbakke (courtesy of Etage Projects)